Family and friends will gather this Saturday to celebrate the life of Henry “Hank” Matthew Ercolini, born October 8, 1923 in Seattle, died August 28, 2014 in Salem, Oregon, with many years in West Seattle along the way. Here’s the remembrance we were asked to share:
Hank was the oldest of the 3 boys of Joe and Julia Ercolini, a husband to Gertrude “Gertie” Ercolini for 65 years, a father of 4, father-in-law, devoted grandfather (Pop) and great-grandfather, an uncle, cousin, a devoted friend, a 1941 West Seattle High School graduate, a WWII Marine veteran, a 1948 Willamette University graduate, a math & history teacher, coach, junior high principal, referee, a world traveler, a long-time member of Queen of Peace church, a Beaver and Bearcat fan, a cribbage teacher, a landscaper by hobby, an avid golfer, a Meals on Wheels delivery boy, a favorite neighbor, a Susan G. Komen supporter, and a great friend to many.
He will be remembered for his kindness, generosity, and the joy he shared with everyone who knew him. He will be dearly missed. He is survived by three of his children and their spouses: Joan Ercolini (Bend, OR), Lisa & Rod Noteboom (Moses Lake, WA), Steve & Betsy Ercolini (Seattle); his four grandchildren: Tom Watson and wife Jodie, Anne Watson, Angela Fernandez and husband Paul, and Daniel Noteboom; his great grandsons Eamon Watson and Eli Fernandez; and Tom and Anne’s father Steve Watson. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Joe and Julia Ercolini, his brothers Edward and James Ercolini, his first daughter Julie Watson, and his wife Gertie.
A celebration of Hank’s life will be held at Capital Manor (in Salem, OR), Saturday, September 20th, at 1:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, or the charity of your choice. Arrangements are by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.
(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
A gathering is planned at a Gatewood home tomorrow to celebrate the life of James M. Novello. His family shares this remembrance:
James Michael Novello, born to James and Alvera Novello on June 19th, 1945, passed at his home on September 6th, 2014 – beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother, and uncle.
James was born in Whitestone, New York, where he graduated from Holy Cross High School. He served as a Chaplain Assistant in Hanau, Germany, while in the United States Army.
James made a home for him and his family in Washington State, where he served with the Anacortes Police Department. He would later work for Fritz Trucking Company in Auburn, where he worked until he retired.
James loved his family, friends, and neighbors, but home is where the heart is, he loved spending time with his 4-legged friends. Other memorable times would be his yearly trips to the Washington coast or game night with family, friends, and neighbors. He loved his Seattle sports teams and Neil Diamond.
James is survived by his wife Debby Novello; dad James Novello, New York; sister Linda (Ray) Riso, New York; children: Richard (Heidi) Novello, James (Monica) Novello, Kimberly (Paul) Bahnmiller, Michael (Terri) Novello; grandchildren: Shawna Murray, Nickolaus (Erin) Novello, Zackary Novello, Carson Novello, Brittany Novello, Vinny Novello, Gabrielle Novello, Cecelia Novello, Giovanni Novello, Zachary Myers, Jacob Myers, Alexis Novello, and Anthony Novello; great-grandchild Aiden Plumley.
Celebration of life will be held at the home of James and Deborah Novello on September 11th, 2014, at 2 pm at 3926 SW Ida Street, West Seattle.
His humor and laughter will be missed.
(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Next Sunday afternoon (August 17th) at West Seattle Golf Course, a memorial is planned for “Buck” Thompson, whose family shares this remembrance:
Clair Wallace “Buck” Thompson, 83, of Seattle, Washington, passed away on July 14, 2014.
Buck was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Clair and Ethel Thompson. He was a 1950 graduate of West Seattle High School. He went on to earn a degree at Washington State University in Business with a minor in Architectural Small Dwelling Construction graduating in 1954. In his early years, he worked in the hotel and restaurant management business, was a real estate agent selling recreational property in Eastern Washington, and later sold marine supply equipment with Obert Marine Supply. Buck belonged to the Society of Port Engineers of Puget Sound and held the position of President, Chairman of the Board, “Chicken of the Year,” and “Man of the Year”. He enjoyed travel, fishing, sports, and family.
Buck is preceded in death by his parents, Clair and Ethel, and his sister Judith Ann Campbell.
He is survived by his devoted wife Sharon Thompson; sons Paul (Kim) Thompson and Bryce (Eva) Thompson; daughter Dawn (Eric) Hodo; stepson Jamie (Beth) Trigg; stepdaughter Tracy (Mitch) Trotter; eleven grandchildren and several cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A memorial for Buck will be held at the West Seattle Golf Course on Sunday, August 17, at 3:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Medic One, without whose help Buck would never have been able to receive the care he did: Medic One Fire Department, 301 Second Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104.
(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
A memorial service is planned this Saturday morning (August 2nd) for longtime West Seattleite Betty Broughton, who died Monday at age 85. Her family shares this remembrance:
Betty Lee Marks Broughton was born on February 18, 1929 in Missoula, Montana to Cleve and Ora Marks.
Her early childhood was spent on a 10,000-acre working family ranch in Townsend, Montana where both of her parents were born. She attended first grade at a mining camp in York, Montana where her father found work. She has two younger brothers, James and Michael, who were also born in Montana.
After the mine closed, the family moved to Helena, Montana where her father went to work for the Social Security Dept. In 1941, when she was 12 years old, the family moved to Seattle where her father went to work at Todd Shipyards building boats for the US Navy during WWII. She attended 7th grade at Beacon Hill Grade School and when the High Point Housing Projects were completed for the WWII industrial workers, her family moved there. Every day she walked to the Cooper School where she attended eighth grade. It was there she developed several lifelong friendships with her classmates, who still gather every Wednesday for dinner at the Chelan Cafe in West Seattle.
When her father’s next job took him to Everett, she stayed with Harold and Pearl Broughton, who lived a block from West Seattle High School, where she attended 9th grade until she graduated in 1947. After school and on Saturdays, she took the bus downtown for her part-time job at Frederick & Nelson, and gave the money she made to her host family. After graduation, she married Harold and Pearl’s son, Charles “Bud” Broughton, who had also graduated from West Seattle High School. In 1949, they bought their home on 47th Avenue where she raised her four children who graduated from WSHS: Tim in ‘66, Mary in ‘69, Joyce in ‘70, and LeeAnn in ‘72.
A public memorial has been announced for West Seattle-based hiking writer/nature photographer Karen Sykes. She was reported missing one week ago while hiking on Mount Rainier; last weekend, her daughter confirmed her death, and authorities subsequently determined she died of hypothermia. Ms. Sykes, 70, was known best for her books and columns about hiking, but we also knew her for the many West Seattle nature photos she shared via WSB in the past few years (see her Flickr gallery here). And now there’s word of a gathering to honor her memory:
Celebrate the life and legacy of Karen Sykes at the Seattle Mountaineers on July 14, 2014. Share stories and experiences with friends at 6:30 PM, with a program beginning at 7:00 PM.
Karen Sykes was an inspiration to many hikers as hiking companion, hike leader, columnist, guidebook author and photographer. Even though she is gone, she lives on in her work and in our hearts.
Please send photos of Karen Sykes for incorporation in a slide show to Heidi Walker at email@example.com
And don’t forget to share reminiscences of Karen at NW Hikers Trail Talk or at
The Mountaineers is at 7700 Sand Point Way NE.
Friends of Lynda Nield, who you might have known from her time working in West Seattle, are getting the word out about her celebration of life coming up in North Seattle June 29th, after her sudden, early death two weeks ago:
Lynda Susan Nield, 50, formerly of Cumberland, RI; Tempe, Arizona; and Shoreline, Washington, passed away accidentally on June 6, 2014, while swimming in Costa Rica.
She was the beloved daughter of Eunice I. Nield of Lincoln and Joseph G. Nield, Jr. and Allie Nield of No. Smithfield. She is also survived by her brother Joseph F. Nield and his wife Karen of Cumberland; her sisters Karen Nield Kinch and her husband Michael of Cumberland; Lori Nield Riel and her husband Denis of Pascoag; and her step-sisters Marilou Lowery and her husband Robert, and Traci Anne Egermayer and her husband Robert of New Jersey.
Friends and family will gather this Saturday to remember 94-year-old ‘Eilene’ Powelson, and are sharing this remembrance:
Evelyn Eilene Powelson, known to family and friends as “Eilene,” passed away on June 16, 2014 at Providence Mount Saint Vincent Nursing Center.
Eilene was born on December 1, 1919 in Bellingham to David and Anna Larson. Early in her life, along with her parents and two younger sisters, they moved from Bellingham to Everett and eventually settled in Seattle before the breakout of WWII.
She met her husband Corden Powelson at the Lutheran Service Center in downtown Seattle 1944. They married on May 3, 1946 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Seattle) with Dr. Stub officiating. Corden preceded her in death on September 19, 2000 after 54 years of marriage. Eilene was a member of Peace Lutheran Church for over 20 years.
Friends and family of Joe Ceccarelli will gather this Saturday to remember him. They’re sharing this announcement to invite all those who knew him to be there:
Joseph A. Ceccarelli, longtime resident of West Seattle, died unexpectedly of pneumonia on May 7, 2014, at the age of 50. Joe had many friends in the community and will be missed. There will be a memorial service at Arbor Heights Community Church (10213 41st Ave SW) on Saturday, June 14th, at 2 pm.
Robinson Newspapers has announced the death of publisher Gerald “Jerry” Robinson, 94, of Burien. According to the company’s 1987 history book West Side Story, Mr. Robinson’s publishing career began in 1952, when he bought the White Center News; in the early ’70s, he took over the West Seattle Herald, subsequently merging it with the WC News, and then bought the Highline Times. He later acquired the Ballard News-Tribune, and his company last year combined the three print publications to create the Westside Weekly. Our photo at left is from 2009, when Mr. Robinson received the Community Service Award from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce; accepting the award, he told Chamber members that he had tried to retire once, but felt “useless” when not working, because, he explained: “Nothing is as fulfilling” as being of service to others. Mr. Robinson continued to write weekly columns until recently. No memorial service has been announced yet; the online announcement says a detailed obituary is to be published later.
A memorial service and celebration are planned tomorrow (Friday, May 16th) for Robert Edmund Chaney, whose family shares this remembrance:
Mr. Robert Edmund Chaney met his Pilot face to face on May 8th at 88.
Mr. Chaney was best known as a true West Seattle guy! He was the father to Liz Chaney (Trindade) and Carolyn Camille Chaney, both of whom graduated from West Seattle High! Mr. Chaney was a true neighbor and lived in the North Admiral district since 1966.
He worked at Husky Delicatessen for more than 20 years and has been a RE Broker for Century 21 for most of his career. As a Christian minister, award-winning poet & writer, he left a powerful legacy to his other two children, Christopher Chaney of Southern California and & Kimberly Condrin of Renton WA. He has five grandchildren, Cory & Taylor Condrin, Tatiana, Lorenzo & Romeu Trindade. Mr. Chaney was one of 11 children and for the very reason he loved to have a lot of people, friends and family around. Mr. Chaney was a loving husband to Beverly Chaney (former Talent Manager to Jim Caviezel and Brendan Frasier). Mr. Chaney, Bob, was also a host father to hundreds of exchange students for over 15 years. He attended University of Oregon and Stanford with degrees in Business & Political Science.
Memorial service at Tahoma National Cemetery on May 16th, 2:00 pm, 18600 SE 240th St., Kent. Memorial celebration at his home in West Seattle. If you would like to attend, contact his daughter, Liz Chaney Trindade by cell, 917 435 6455; text is OK.
A celebration of life for a woman known best as “Roxy” is planned this Saturday in Skyway. Shared by her family:
Roxanne (Roxy) Lee Fultz-Tovey passed away at age 58 in her home in Tacoma. She was born December 2, 1955, to the late Virgil Fultz and Gloria Bruce.
Roxy moved to West Seattle around 1975 after attending Western Washington University; she then went to dental hygienist school. Roxy made lots of lifelong friends during the 20 years she lived in West Seattle. After working as a dental hygienist for 5 years, she then went to work for the Boeing Company, where she finished out her working career, until 2009.
Roxy was married to Mark Tovey from 1994-2005 and has a stepdaughter, Erin Tovey of Spokane, who she loved very much. Roxanne is also survived by her grandmother Jessi Bruce of Tacoma, brother Bruce Fultz of Tacoma, brother Troy Hoffmaster of Hastings, Nebraska, nephew Coltn Hoffmaster of Port Townsend, aunt Virginia (Ginger) Steffenson of SeaTac, cousin Stacy Hardy of Moses Lake, and cousin Danay Mims of Enumclaw.
Celebration of life to be held Saturday, May 17th, 2:00 pm, at Skyway VFW, 7421 S. 126th St. Roxy’s favorite color was purple – it would be great if you have something purple to wear. Please make any memorial donations to the Lupus Foundation.
A memorial service is planned this afternoon for Pearl Phillips, whose family shares this remembrance:
Pearl Virginia (Niebanck) Phillips, 89, of Seattle passed away April 16. Daughter of Lillian Spamer and Frederick Niebanck, Pearl was born August 2, 1924, in Woodbridge, New Jersey.
Pearl grew up in New York City, but at the age of 16, her family drove cross-country to California. The experience opened her eyes to the natural beauty of the country, and once home, she resolved to return someday. Five years later, Pearl fulfilled that dream and moved to California, living with relatives while she worked in a defense plant during WWII. There, she met her future husband, Don, at an officer’s dance. A native of Washington state, he romanced her with tales of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, promising to buy her a flannel shirt, blue jeans and hiking boots. Three months later, they were married and headed to Washington, where Pearl lived the rest of her life.
Pearl was a city girl, Don a woodsman. Together they explored the forests of the Olympic Peninsula, often off-trail, Don hopping rocks across streams or walking logs over ravines while Pearl rode his shoulders.
The family of 99-year-old Ethel Eyrse, who spent the final fourth of her life here, shares this remembrance:
Ethel Louise (Boyer) Eyrse passed away on April 9, 2014. She was born in Saidora, IL on Dec. 2, 1914, to Harry and Elsie Boyer. Ethel moved to Pekin, IL in her teens and, after graduating from Pekin High School, worked at the Pekin Finance Company. She married Fred Eyrse on Aug. 2, 1936.
Ethel was an active volunteer at the Pekin Hospital League, holding many chairs including League President, and started the Nearly Nu Shop which over the years has raised thousands of dollars for the hospital. She moved to Seattle in 1997, following the death of Fred. She lived her 99-plus years with great wit and curiosity about life.
Always independent, Ethel was able to stay in her own apartment in West Seattle with a view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains and was as sharp as a tack to the end. A bit of her wit was shared online by her granddaughter, Shanna, through the website Upload Your Grandma.
Ethel is survived by her son, Steven Eyrse of Pekin, daughter Cinda (Eyrse) Christie of Seattle, three grandchildren, Shanna Christie, Severn Eyrse and Margaret Lanphier, and two great-grandchildren, Severn Eyrse Jr. and Hazel Lanphier. She will be greatly missed.
There will be a celebration of Ethel’s life at a later date. In lieu of ﬂowers, donations could be made in her name to the Pekin Hospital League, 600 South 13th Street, Pekin, IL 61554.
The family of Alki resident Barbara Parker, 60, shares this remembrance:
Barbara “Barb” Jean (Killian) Parker found peace on her way to heaven on March 29, 2014 to be with her sister Christine, her sister Darlene, her father Benny, mother Emily, her mother-in-law Jean, and her father-in-law Allan.
Born March 4, 1954, in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest sister to Chris, Debbie, and Cindy, Barb’s reputation as a fighter began with her premature birth. She grew up in Cleveland and graduated from James Ford Rhodes High School. She attended Renton Technical College and received CAD/CAM certification as well as the University of Washington Project Management certification.
She met Michael Allan Parker in the fall of 1972 in the Sohio computer center where they both worked. They were married on March 3, 1973, by his father, Father Allan Parker, at St. Phillips Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Their son Michael was born in Cleveland and then they moved to Seattle, where their son Matthew was born. After living in Dallas and Mission Beach, they returned to West Seattle to live in Alki.
Barbara was involved in the West Seattle community, and served as the Northwest Cavalier Rescue coordinator, adopting out 21 dogs. Barbara most recently worked for the Seattle Lighthouse of the Blind as a Technical Writer and Documentation Control. Previously she was an IT and ISO Internal Auditor. Barbara organized whomever she worked for, with a contagious humor.
Barbara will be missed by her husband Michael, sons Michael and Matthew, daughters-in-law Angie and Jessica, granddaughters Trinity, Emily, and Tess, sisters Deborah and Cynthia, the in-laws Edith and John, David, Janet, Ann and Dan, and Amy and Ken, plus countless nieces and nephews and cousins. Barbara was surrounded by family in her final days. To honor Barb’s wishes, there will be a private roast to celebrate her life on May 3rd in Alki Beach.
Donations would be made in the memory of Barbara Parker to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, PO Box 19023, Seattle, WA 98109 and be directed toward breast-cancer research. Online donations for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance can be made here.
Alternatively, donations can be made in Barbara Parker’s memory to the King Charles Cavalier Rescue. The information can be found here.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home of West Seattle.
This remembrance sent to us by a friend of Roberta Weak, gone at 82, includes a message especially meaningful on a beautiful evening like this:
Roberta Arlene Weak was born in Beatrice, Nebraska on August 18, 1931. She passed away on March 18, 2014. She is survived by 11 brothers and sisters and 3 cats.
She lived in West Seattle for the past 25 years, but had lived all over the US while working and exploring in Europe and hiking in Nepal. She loved to tell stories of hiking on Mt. Tamalpais in California, cooking classes with Julia Child in Boston, rescuing and providing homes for many cats that had been abandoned, attending the Fremont Solstice Parade, volunteering in schools to help kids and of course cheering on her Boston Celtics.
Roberta gave to others all of her life. Her motto was to “get out and LIVE! No matter what you do – ENJOY LIFE!”
Roberta was an inspiration to all who met her. Not to be deterred by her Parkinson’s, she exercised every day either at the YMCA Silver Sneakers or at home riding her recumbent bike. Her hope was that friends would take time to gather together, tell stories and celebrate that part of her life they had shared. Have a dark chocolate Dove bar in her honor.
Her final wish: “Stop the VIOLENCE – Be kind to people and pets.”
A celebration of life is planned next Saturday for Greg Riddle, 59. His fight against cancer made news here two months ago when his family’s home near Roxhill Elementary caught fire, forcing them to find somewhere else to live, which they did, thanks in part to suggestions from WSB’ers when Mr. Riddle’s daughter Kristine Elliott asked here for ideas and assistance. Now, she shares this remembrance of her dad:
Family and friends will gather Saturday, April 12th, at 11:30 a.m. at Boulevard Park Place Retirement Community, 2805 S. 125th St. in Burien, for a Celebration of Life.
William Gregory Riddle passed away March 27, 2014. Greg was born October 24, 1954, to William (Bill) Cecil & Flo (Sue) Riddle, the 6th of 7 children, in Redding, California. He met the love of his life, Eileen Turgeon, in 1978 and they were married in 1982. Together, they raised their 3 children.
He was a highly skilled carpenter who had a unique bond with animals and loved to fish for salmon in the Hoh, Sol Duc & Bogachiel Rivers in Forks, Washington. Greg also loved the outdoors and spending time with his family. Some of his happiest times were coaching Little League Baseball. He knew how to bring out the players’ full potential, taught them to play as a team, and how to win or lose with pride.
Greg is survived by his wife Eileen, daughter Kristine and son-in-law Ryan Elliott, son Trevor Riddle, daughter Catherine Riddle, and daughter Jessica Riddle; four grandchildren Luke, Reese, Blake, and Chase Elliott; brothers Derryl Riddle and Tim Riddle; sisters Pat Henk and Mary Riddle. He was preceded in death by his father Bill, mother Sue, brothers Chuck Riddle and Kenny Riddle.
You will always be loved and forever missed…
The memorial service for Fauntleroy legend Morest “Morey” Skaret, 100, is set for 10 am this Monday (April 7th) at Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW). As noted in his obituary, as published in The Seattle Times, Mr. Skaret had been a West Seattleite since childhood. He also served with the Seattle Police Department for more than 40 years; our photo at right is from 2012, when he was honored by the Seattle Police Relief Association. Mr. Skaret was known by many as a storyteller; some of his stories are on HistoryLink.org, like this one. Fauntleroy writer/editor/community advocate Judy Pickens edited Mr. Skaret’s book of life stories, “Morey’s Bench“; we asked her for a few words in his memory:
“Nothing reveals the grain of a life and the time of its living quite like personal stories. And to loved ones, friends, and neighbors, no one can tell a story better than Morey Skaret.”
I wrote those words in 2003, when Morey and I culminated publication of “Morey’s Bench,” a collection of his stories spanning his early years on a homestead in Alberta, through his settling in Fauntleroy in 1937, to his long retirement overlooking the ferry terminal. Throughout the process, I could never convince him that people would want to buy the book. When the dust settled, however, we had reprinted it three times to satisfy demand.
With Morey’s passing on March 27, loved ones, friends, and neighbors have those stories and many “Did I ever tell you about…” moments with him as fond memories. Those not fortunate enough to have a copy of the book may find a sampling of his stories at www.historylink.org/?keyword=Skaret&DisplayPage=results.cfm&Submit=Go.
If you have a story to share, Mr. Skaret’s online guestbook is here.
The family of West Seattleite Mary Jane Holtan shares this remembrance and announcement of her upcoming memorial:
Mary Jane Holtan, 75, passed away on March 20th, 2014.
A Memorial will be held on April 5th at 4 pm at Alki United Church of Christ, 6115 SW Hinds.
Mary was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, to Ralph and Alice Platt, on April 27, 1938. She went to school at Mt. Si High School in Snoqualmie.
She married Oryland (Bud) Holtan on May 7th, 1960. Mary is preceded in death by her husband, her parents Ralph and Alice Platt, and her two Brothers James Platt and David Platt.
She is survived by Dean Holtan (son), Sheila Holtan (daughter-in-law), Janice Platt (sister-in-law), and several nieces and nephews.
Donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Mary’s name online (here).
Two weeks ago, we reported briefly on a driver who had crashed into a tree atop a greenbelt slope in the 4800 block of 21st SW on Puget Ridge. No major investigation followed; the car was soon towed, after its driver was taken to the hospital with what sounded, from emergency-radio communications, non-life-threatening injuries. But now a roadside memorial has appeared, on and beneath the tree hit that morning, and we thereby have learned the driver, 91-year-old Ruth Naomi Toliver, did not survive. Her name and photo are part of the memorial; we have found only a very brief obituary for Ms. Toliver (on a small Texas town’s paywalled news site), which says she was born November 8, 1922, in St. Louis, and died the day of the crash, March 9, at Harborview Medical Center. (The roadside memorial lists the same dates.) Public records show a Highland Park address for Ms. Toliver; the online obituary suggests memorial donations to (the former) Community Services for the Blind.
The date is now set for the memorial service honoring Michael Hoffman, the West Seattle business owner and community supporter gone too soon at just 47. Len Burton-Hardin of Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home says the memorial will be at noon Saturday, April 5th, at the Alki Masonic Center (40th/Edmunds). We also are told that donations in Mr. Hoffman’s memory can be made to Furry Faces Foundation and Pencil Me In For Kids, both of which recall him as an avid supporter. In addition to what we mentioned in our first report on his sudden death a week and a half ago – owning Liberty Bell Print and Design, and founding/organizing the annual West Seattle Car Show – he was part of many other community projects, as noted by some of the dozens of friends and colleagues who shared memories here.
You might only have known Mary “Butch” Gribble from Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) or community benefits, but if you met her, you wouldn’t forget her. Her sister Sue Lindblom, Illusions proprietor, shares this remembrance:
Mary (Coghill) Gribble
It is with sadness we report the passing of the friendly face of Mary ‘Butch’ Gribble to many residents living in West Seattle. After 23 years, she retired in November 2013 from Illusions Hair Design and passed peacefully at home on March 4th.
She was born Mary Coghill in Montana but was raised in West Seattle with siblings David, Angus, Susan, and Bill. Her family lost Angus in 1994.
She always loved her Scottish heritage and loved playing by ear her piano, accordion and squeezebox. Her father had musical talent but unfortunately she was the only one that took up the ‘ear.’ She had always been a real caretaker to many in her life including family members and friends. She started her working career for many years at Sears. All remember her energy and sense of humor wherever she was. Many remember her face at one of the car washes or dinners held at the West Seattle Eagles for a Pencil Me In For Kids benefit.
She leaves behind her devoted husband and best friend Grant Gribble, sister Sue (Mike Lindblom), brothers Bill (Debbie) and Dave, many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great nephews, co-workers and past co-workers. There will be no services, as per her request. The family thanks all who have so kindly expressed their condolences.
A memorial is planned at The Kenney this Saturday (March 15th) for Clara Robinson, who lived a full century (and then some). Here’s the remembrance to be shared with the community.
Clara was born in Rollage, Minnesota on June 12, 1913, baptized Clara Sylvia Thun. She graduated from Moorhead State Teachers College and began her first teaching position in a one-room school in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.
She was a soft spoken but an adventurous woman. With her soon-to-be sister-in-law, Mary Robinson, she left from Minnesota in 1934 for Moose Pass, Alaska, with the goal of teaching school. Providence intervened and Clara fell in love with her childhood neighbor and friend Edwin David Robinson, who was mining in the area.
They were married on October 5, 1935 in Seward, Alaska, but not without incident. October weather in Alaska can be unpredictable, and a rainstorm had flooded the road to the railroad station. Determined to make it to their wedding celebration, Eddie, Clara, and the entire wedding party walked several miles to the train. They would arrive just in time to say, “I do,” and cut the cake. Their love and commitment to one another lasted almost 50 years, until Eddie died in 1984. They first became parents in 1936, and would eventually raise four children. She lived to celebrate and witness the birth of nine grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
With membership at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church since 1961, both Clara and Ed were very involved with all aspects of the church. She sang in the Chancel Choir, taught Sunday School, was an active Koinonia member, and a Circle member. When the new floor was installed in the social hall, Clara scrubbed the entire floor on hands and knees to prepare the surface.
Clara passed on Sunday, March 9, 2014. She leaves to cherish her memories, three daughters, Verna, Edna, Julia; one son, David, 9 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
There will be a memorial at the Kenney Home on Saturday, March 15th, at 1:30 pm. In lieu of gifts or flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mark’s Community Center, a learning center established for the purpose of teaching basic reading skills to at-risk youth. Their address is:
St. Mark’s Community Center
6020 Beacon Ave S.
Seattle, WA 98108
Inquiries may be made at 206-722-5165.
At left, that’s Michael Hoffman, proprietor of Liberty Bell Print and Design and founder of the West Seattle Car Show. We’ve just learned that Mr. Hoffman died of a sudden illness last night at his Arbor Heights home; he was 47 years old. For 13 years, Mr. Hoffman owned what was founded in 1973 as Liberty Bell Printing, located in The Junction until moving it out of a storefront three years ago. Susan Melrose, director of the West Seattle Junction Association, shares this tribute:
The news of losing our friend and colleague Michael Hoffman will be received as a tragic loss for our community. Michael’s spirit of kindness, consideration, humor, and charity has touched so many people in so many ways. He has left a positive imprint on West Seattle that will be remembered. Here in The Junction, we will remember and honor Michael with the deep appreciation that he so genuinely deserves.
Mr. Hoffman founded the street-closing Junction Car Show in 2008 and continued to organize it annually; last year’s edition was the sixth annual show. No word yet on a memorial service; we’ll update with whatever we find out.
Shared by his family, here’s the “larger than life” life story of Frank Novito, whose memorial service is planned for next Saturday at Holy Rosary Church:
Frank Novito, a lifelong resident of West Seattle, died peacefully at Providence Mt. St. Vincent on March 7, 2014.
Frank was born to Joseph and Mary Novito, who had immigrated from Italy, and true to the American Dream, owned several successful dry-cleaning businesses in the West Seattle and Morgan Street Junctions. Frank attended Lafayette, James Madison, and West Seattle High School.
While still a student, Frank would ride his bike down to Alki to work at Lloyd’s Boathouse before school every morning, and then back up Fairmount Avenue to WSHS for his classes. He quickly became known among Lloyd’s customers for his fishing prowess out in Elliott Bay, and became a favorite of those who wanted to know where the “prime” fishing spots were. He had many stories to tell of near-misses with ferries in the dense fog.
After high school, Frank went to work as a riveter at Boeing, and just like in the movies, he met his bride-to-be, Helen Gembolis, who was his “bucker.” They married in 1944 and had three children, Wanda, Gail and Ralph, all who attended Holy Rosary School. He served in the Army until the war ended, when “Old Mr. Fiedler” took a shine to Frank and offered him a sales job at Gene Fiedler Chevrolet, where Frank sold cars for over 40 years, often ranking as the top salesman in the entire Pacific Northwest. Frank had enduring friendships with many return customers.
From the family of Robert “Bob” McCoy, who died this week at age 81:
Robert “Bob” McCoy passed away March 3, 2014, with his family by his side.
Bob was a resident of West Seattle for 50-plus years. He started his career at Forest Lawn Funeral Home in 1964 and retired in 1998. He was a member of the White Center Eagles.
Bob was born February 2, 1933, in Seattle, to Harold and Jessie McCoy. He was raised in Kent and attended Kent Meridian High School. He is survived by his wife Ilene of 60 years, daughter Debra and her husband Joe Ruskamp, daughter Linda and her husband Michael McGee, daughter Barbara, son John, and daughter Pam and her husband Cary Hood, 10 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and his brother Jack McCoy of Vancouver, Washington. He was preceded in death by his sister Helen and his brother Phillip.
Memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 15th, 1:00 pm at Yarington’s/White Center Funeral Home, 10708 16th Ave SW. Reception follows, 2:30-4:30 pm at the White Center Eagles, 10452 15th Ave SW.
Joan Mraz “was the ultimate volunteer,” recalls Clay Eals, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which he says she co-founded as “the catalyst who crucially transformed founder Elliott Couden’s dream into a reality when we got our start 30 years ago, based at South Seattle Community College (13 years before we opened the Log House Museum).” Ms. Mraz died this week at 78, and a memorial gathering is planned March 9th. Here’s a remembrance shared by her family:
Joan Bailey Mraz, beloved mother, grandmother, sister and lifelong West Seattle resident, passed away peacefully on Feb. 24, 2014, at Providence Mount St. Vincent. She was the firstborn twin of Ruth and Glen Bailey on July 29, 1935.
She was senior-class president and graduated in the class of 1953 from West Seattle High School. Joan won an art scholarship to Seattle University, from which she graduated with a bachelor of arts. She went on to teach art and art history at South Seattle Community College and was co-founder and former president of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
Joan was a fighter. She received a kidney transplant in 1989, which lasted the rest of her life.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband Elemer Mraz in 1996 and son Steven Roger Mraz in 2008. She is survived by her twin sister Diane Tice of Seattle, daughter Kristina (Graham) van Etten of Sydney, Australia, son Oscar (Nicole Devine) Mraz of Seattle and Mark (Bridget) Mraz of Edmonds. Joan was a proud grandmother to Lauren, Jordan and Nathan van Etten of Sydney, Australia, Marguerite Devine-Mraz of Seattle and Lukas and Kellen Mraz of Edmonds. She will always be remembered for her smile, caring attitude, love and deep affection for others.
The family asks that remembrances may be made to Northwest Kidney Centers (PO Box 3035, Seattle, WA 98114) or Southwest Seattle Historical Society (Log House Museum, 3003 61st Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116).
A celebration of Joan’s life will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 9, 2014, at St Paul’s of Shorewood Lutheran Church, 11620 21st Ave S.W., Seattle, WA, 98146. Please sign Joan’s online guestbook at www.becksfuneralhome.com.
The SWSHS website will have an extended obituary of Ms. Mraz sometime this weekend, and we’ll link to it here when it’s available. Meantime, anyone wishing to honor her through volunteer work with the SWSHS has an opportunity to do so almost immediately – the next volunteer-orientation session is 11 am-1 pm tomorrow (Saturday) at the LHM (61st/Stevens).
ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: The aforementioned SWSHS appreciation of Ms. Mraz is now published – see it here.
A memorial service is planned in April for Richard Ware Lantz of Fauntleroy, gone after what his family describes as “a full life,” and you’ll likely agree after reading the remembrance they’re sharing:
Ware Lantz, 97, died at home in his sleep on February 16, 2014, following a short illness. He lived up to his teenage nickname “Gadget,” for he was forever inventing, dissecting, conducting studies, diagramming, exploring new technologies, going wherever his curiosity took him. He was a consummate storyteller, and loved to read.
Ware was born in 1917, in Kearney, Nebraska. His earliest years were on a dry wheat farm in eastern Colorado. At the beginning of the Dust Bowl, his family moved to Hoquiam, Washington, where he grew up working in his father’s auto service/repair business. He put himself through college during the Depression, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 1940.
Early in the Second World War, he went to work at the Seattle Pacific Shipyard. He was immediately smitten with his new draftsman (appropriate term at the time), Ruth Immel, and they married eight months later.
They moved to Boston when Ware took a position at the Radiation Lab at MIT, working on development of radar defense systems. After the war, they relocated to California for work with North American Aviation, and in 1949 they moved to Seattle, where he worked for Boeing. While at Boeing, Ware was a supervisor on the Bomarc and Minuteman missile systems. After 30 years, he retired and began a second career, building architectural models, and picture framing.
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